Keolis awarded a contract to operate the public transport network of the French Riviera Urban Community

On 29 April 2019, the French Riviera Urban Community selected Keolis to operate and maintain its public transport network called Zest. This new six-year public service delegation contract starts on 8 July 2019 and is expected to generate a total revenue of €60 million. Keolis’ missions are to reinforce the transport network offer across the 15 cities and villages of the community and modernise the network by rolling out new digital services, including Wi-Fi access in all buses. Keolis has committed to increasing passenger numbers by 17% and boosting revenue by 24% across the whole network between now and 2025.

Following the tender process, the French Riviera Urban Community Council (75,000 inhabitants) selected Keolis to manage and operate its public transport network (regular and extracurricular bus lines, on-demand transport, and soon, an electric shuttle service).
This public service delegation contract is a major issue for the French Riviera Urban Community which is seeking to modernise and revive its public transport network  and in doing so contribute to the agglomeration and wider region’s appeal.

Expanded public transport coverage

From 8 July on, Keolis Menton Riviera - Keolis’ new subsidiary’s name – will start operating the network, including transport for extracurricular activities. Transport coverage will be improved across all the cities and villages of the French Riviera Urban Community.

In Autumn 2019, an electric shuttle service will be introduced in Menton as part of a one-year experiment. It will serve the city centre, the train station, the casino, as well as the beaches. With enough space for around 20 passengers, it will run every day of the year between 9am and 6pm at 20 minute intervals.

In September 2019, the Roquebrune-Cap-Martin service will be modified with the introduction of a new intercommunal shuttle service and, in January 2020, the integration of lines currently operating across the Vallée de la Roya which will reinforce the wider network. A new shuttle service will simultaneously commence operation in the Turbie commune.

From January 2020, 50 new buses will join the fleet and all the buses running on regular lines will be air-conditioned and will feature low floors to facilitate access for persons with reduced mobility.

A new digital passenger experience

Symbolising the modernised network, which will now be featured on Moovit and Google Maps, the French Riviera Urban Community and Keolis wanted to introduce new digital tools and services that passengers will be able to use from this summer:

  • Passenger information will be significantly improved with new digital screens in various cities and villages across the urban community: 10 e-paper screens at bus stops – powered by solar panels – will display bus arrival times in real time, and 20 screens will be installed in shopping centres, hospitals, stations and schools across the urban community. In addition, a flash code system will provide real-time information
  • An Operational-Aid and Passenger Information System will be deployed so that vehicles can be geolocated in real time.
  • Passengers will have Wi-Fi access on buses and at Menton coach station. Furthermore, USB sockets will be available on the buses.
  • The new website and smart phones (M-ticket) will enable ticket puchases and transport reservation including on-demand transport and services for persons with reduced mobility.

A new network involving local stakeholders

Demonstrating our commitment to regional development, Keolis will partner with local economic stakeholders including retailers, so that subscribers can enjoy discounts when shopping as well as hotels and restaurants where passengers will be able to purchase their tickets.

Zest network: key figures

  • 2 million km covered per year
  • 2.1 million annual journeys expected by the end of 2025
  • 57 lines operated from January 2020 (18 regular lines, 8 on-demand transport services, 1 service for persons with reduced mobility, 6 shuttles and 24 school lines)
  • 65 vehicles, nearly 80% of which will be replaced between now and 2020